Is there really life on other planets?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by pluto2, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    You have a point - go ahead and extend the use of passive radio for another 100 years if you want. My point remains the same. The chances of our "picking up" a radio transmission (interstellar) in the first 200 years of our discovery might be minuscule.

    In a offhanded way of addressing the other arguments of Fermi, though it might piss certain people off even more...

    We are talking about "Why haven't we seen any evidence of intelligent life". Well we can barely even detect planets in other star systems. That's all I have to say about OUR ability to "detect". Why haven't they contacted/left evidence/show their presence to us? Why would they? We have not shown any value to the universe as of yet. We cannot even contemplate why an advanced civilization, capable of interstellar travel (I mean that is pretty frikin far away from where we are right now) WOULD WANT TO even come close to us. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. Indeed maybe no one even knows about us, maybe there is absolutely no one out there, sure that's possible. But to point to "Fermi" and draw a conclusion...ignorant.
     
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  3. Diode-Man Awesome User Title Registered Senior Member

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    I think some aliens are extra dimensional, of higher frequency, they leave no traces on the atomic matter they traverse through.

    Clich'e, the pot advocate believes in the existence of such beings.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

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    What I don't understand is why it's automatically assumed that any intelligent extraterrestrial life would be more advanced than us. Is it not possible that we could be one of the more advanced races?
     
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  7. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    Lifetime of the universe.
    The solar system is a "late developer" - there are stars considerably older than the sun, so it's possible (likely) that if life is fairly common there will be "people" that had a head start on us.
     
  8. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    Well our type of sun is like a 3rd or 4th?...generation star. So similar heavy metal stars, are about the same age. I'm just guessing that yes there might be some that got lucky and developed a good billion years earlier, and surely even "Luckier" species that didn't suffer so many extinction events before "getting it right".

    The reason, however, that when we talk about "evidence" of aliens, it's all talk about advanced aliens(more advanced than us anyway), is because we cannot detect ones even as "advanced" as us or "behind" us. So all the evidence must be "provided" by advanced aliens.

    We are not even talking about "intelligent" life anyway. Only civilizations. Dolphins after all, could qualify as intelligent, depending who you ask...
     
  9. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I'm not saying that there aren't any civilizations more advanced than ours...wait, let me phrase that differently so this whole shebang doesn't get tossed to the pseudoscience forum...I'm not saying that, should there be any civilizations on other planets, that some wouldn't be more advanced. What I'm saying is that hypothetical alien civilizations are always assumed to be more advanced. This is kind of funny to me, because we know absolutely nothing about life beyond the planet. To assume most of them would be more advanced just seems silly.

    And I also don't agree with the idea that older equates to more advanced. If civilizations exist or have existed elsewhere, can you even imagine how many of them have already fallen? How many life-harboring stars have already died? OK, I'm getting way off base here, but the point is that I would not be surprised to discover alien life that was intelligent, and yet nothing like us at all--and certainly wouldn't be surprised to find intelligent life that is either our technological equal, or even inferior.
     
  10. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    I think the Drake Equation goes some way to "working out" the ration of more advanced to not as advanced.
    But it's a while since I looked at it and my memory could be off.
     
  11. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I hate to be Debbie Downer here, but I think the Drake Equation is bunk, too.

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    Where the hell did he come up with the values? That equation is as useless, in my opinion, as Fermi's "observation".

    You're better off philosophizing on it, at this point. For example, I feel that the sheer number of stars alone is enough to convince me that there has to be life elsewhere. You, on the other hand, could point to what could be considered very specific circumstances that allowed both us to evolve and life in general to evolve on this planet, and say that it's unlikely that civilizations have arose elsewhere.

    It's better than a stupid equation that has no real values.
     
  12. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    That's one of the things about the Drake Equation: no-one has any idea what the values should be.

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    But they claim the principle is more or less right.
     
  13. Balerion Banned Banned

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    But the principal isn't right. hahaha. Again, not to be Negative Nancy, but how can the principal be right when all of the values are pulled out of the air? Even the subsequent adjustments made by others to the equation base their numbers on past Earth civilizations.

    If there's no way to know the values, there's no way the equation works.
     
  14. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    We could, in theory, detect the 'fringes' of signals, so I am not assuming they know we are here. Frankly I don't rate the radio signal search as being either important or likely to succeed. We would be more likely to pick up the edges of a laser signal.

    Since it is almost entirely through the electromagnetic spectrum that we know anything about the universe then it is close to certain as you can get that any advanced civilisation would have radio. However, as I say, I don't place much confidence in this.

    The smaller the number of civilisations the weaker my argument becomes. I took a very weak position to demonstrate that even in this case my argument holds water. If the number is say one million then their apparent absence becomes even more staggering.

    A Kardashev Type II or III civilisation should reveal itself very clearly, yet there is not a Dyson sphere in sight. Why not?

    Because the principle is that we pick up stray signals from other civilisations. The only relevance is then how long they have had radio, not how long we have had it. I have pointed this out. Oli has pointed this out, but you keep coming back to it.

    I am working on no assumptions. Quite the reverse.

    On any sound scientific basis UFOs are not ETs on a flying visit. I don't rule it out, it is simply not a viable hypothesis.

    It is a well established concept. Send out slow ships in every direction to candidate systems with frozen embryos and Von Neuman construction probes. The resultant community is ready to repeat the process within at most a couple of thousand years. If the slow ships can attain 5% of c then you can do the whole galaxy in 1 million years. If you go even slower it merely extends the time to say five million years.

    It still leaves the question, where is everyone?

    Fermi was not talking about radio contact. Fermi was talking about visits. That is what you N.fan seem determined to ignore. I didn't bother reading the link till just now, assuming that the wikipedia article would get it broadly correct, which they did.
    It is thoughtless to prattle on about radio when Fermi was talking about visits.
     
  15. eddie23 information sponge Registered Senior Member

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    That is inciooect it actualy says let US make man in OUR image.

    and so what does this have to do with other planets?
    Nothing.
    If the bible were true it would still only have to do with this planet.
     
  16. Balerion Banned Banned

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    As the article stated, it's likely that we don't have the equipment (perhaps the technology) to listen for signals even as close as our closest star, unless that signal is being focused directly at us. And that's also provided we're on the right frequency at the right time.


    But like I said before, there are too many variables to use the absence of this particular evidence as a mark against their existence. So I agree with you in that I can't place confidence in it.

    And again, I see no reason to be certain that an advanced race would have or use radio.

    If the stars were as close together as the planets in our solar system are, then yes, you'd have a valid argument. But we're talking distances that are hard to fathom. The galaxy alone is 100,000 light-years across, and there are between 200-400 billion stars in it. So a million civilizations in the galaxy would still make for a staggering ratio of stars-to-civilizations. I mean, we might very well be the only civilization within 100 light years, in which case no civilization beyond ours would have noticed the high radio output from our system until, for all intents and purposes, today.

    So there's nothing staggering about the silence.

    Because both of those items you've mentioned are both hypothetical and highly speculative. I mean, we haven't heard from any Klingons yet, either...

    Are you not reading anything that's being written here? Even with our most sensitive listening devices, we'd only be able to pick up our own heavy EM output at a distance of 0.3 light years. So unless the radio signal was directed at us, we'd stand no chance of picking up anything.

    I'll keep coming back to it because you are both missing the point. One more time, and hopefully this sinks in: it matters how long we've had the technology, because it matters how long we've been listening, and how well we are capable of listening. Of course it matters how long they've had it, but to say it doesn't matter how long we've had it simply displays that you have no working knowledge whatsoever of how it works. So far all I've heard you or Oli say is that we should be picking up "stray signals". And as I've already demonstrated, that's impossible at the distances we're talking. We aren't capable of picking up "stray signals" at even the distance between ourselves and our closes neighbor.

    That's simply not true at all. There is no evidence that the UFO sightings are of extraterrestrial origin. That's as far as the answer goes. They very well might be alien. There's simply no way to know if they are.

    And I have to ask how you invoke "sound scientific basis" when you don't even know that we're not capable of intercepting the stray radio transmissions of alien civilizations beyond 0.3 light years away?

    It's totally hypothetical. Quite different than your assertion that "we can populate the galaxy in 1 million years".

    And I'm sorry, but for someone who knocks UFOs for not being "viable hypothesis", you certainly do fancy yourself other elements of outright science fiction.

    They might be all around us. If you had any real understanding of the difficulties of communicating and traveling across such vast distances, you'd understand that it's perfectly acceptable for us to have no evidence of other civilizations as of yet.

    I think it's clear that in order to find life elsewhere, you have to be the one to go looking for it, as opposed to waiting for it to stumble across you.

    Which makes the paradox--which YOU offered up, by the way, as an argument against my personal belief that the universe is too large and stars too many for us to be alone--even more startlingly ignorant. Fermi of all people should have known that interstellar travel is a long process, and in most cases would be downright impossible. He honestly expected there to be alien visitors? And you supported this? Are you serious? How is it that someone who considers himself a "retard basher" and takes pleasure in pointing out the so-called shortcomings of other posters, relies almost entirely on hypotheticals? And even then, only the most outrageous and far-off hypotheticals?
     
  17. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    This is going to be a long year.
     
  18. Algernon Registered Senior Member

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    Its already amazing enough that we can observe 13 billion year old light with the resolution that we can and still analyze the atomical composition of the source of the light and the age. Even if we find life its still pretty hard to communicate light years away let alone travel that far at a reasonable time span.

    Even if life existed on another planet within our galaxy, the probability of finding it might be as hard as trying to fire an arrow from california and trying to hit a target in new york (granted the arrow could travel that far and wind resistance was negligible) nevertheless it gives you an idea of the scale of how far away it would be (and in reality we don't know where the target planet is and on top of that we don't know how far either... looking for a needle in a haystack would probably be a million times easier).
     
  19. Burada Registered Senior Member

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    The bottom line is; Even in our galaxy, if there was a star system 1,000 light years away that had a planet with intelligent life on it and they had reached the advanced level of radio signal technology, then communicating with them is a 2,000 year event if they even wanted to communicate with us at all. Waiting for a reply from them is not to productive, is it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  20. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    It is no more amazing that we can observe 13 billion year old light than that we can observe 9 minute old light.
     
  21. Algernon Registered Senior Member

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    I guess I was referring to the Hubble telescope and the images it has given. We can still see dots in the sky but with not very good resolution.
     
  22. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Agreed. This is what I've been trying to explain to Ophiolite and Oli. People toss around these ideas as if it's as simple as turning on your tuner and listening. It's not.
     
  23. Xylene Valued Senior Member

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    Why, thank you, kmguru

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    :thankyou:

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